What about after HCG diet? This is where most people blow it. The first 3 weeks after taking HCG are crucial. Long-term weight management after that is the goal. Failing to follow certain guidelines will add weight back again. Here is what you must do.
After HCG Diet: After The HCG Phase
The After HCG Diet To Do list begins after the HCG phase concludes. The last day of the HCG phase is the third day in a row of not taking the hormone, also called the hormone washout period.
On the first day after the three day washout period, you are allowed to increase your calories back to your normal daily caloric requirement, with certain crucial restrictions.
Post HCG Food Period
The first three weeks after taking HCG, sometimes misleadingly called the maintenance phase, is the period when the fat metabolism that you established during the protocol becomes stabilized. The two most important actions that you must take during this phase are: 1) weigh yourself every day, just as you did while taking the hormone; and, 2) eat or drink anything you want except food and beverages that contain sugar or starch.
One exception is a single glass of wine each day, with a meal, during this phase.
The above guidelines are not new information. They were prescribed by Dr. Simeons in the 1950s. Here is why they are important.
The Importance Of Keeping Track
Keeping track of your weight every day ensures that you are not gaining it back. Dr. Simeons insisted that the stabilizing action of this phase would be most effective when his patients kept to less than a 2 pound gain from one day to the next. He said the same thing for a 2 pound loss. The point is to stay within a narrow weight range, starting with your weight on the final day of the hormone phase and staying at that target for the next three weeks.
The Importance of Carb Restriction
This is a simple guideline. Avoid starch and sugar, both of which are carbs. The most dangerous carbs during this phase are those that fill up your liver storage capacity to quickly (i.e., starch and sugar). If your liver takes in too much carb during this phase, it will convert the excess into triglycerides and shove them back out into the bloodstream, on the way to storage in fat cells. Elevating triglycerides and increasing fat storage are not the results that you want.
Foods and beverages to avoid during this phase include potatoes, all breads, pastas, and other starchy products, rice and other grains, grapes, bananas, all fruit juices, soft drinks, and beer. This list could be much longer. Just be sensible.
By the way, the explanation is oversimplified. As Dr. Simeons mentioned in 1954, the true danger during this period is the combination of fats and carbs in the diet. Indeed, if you eat no carbs at all, you can consume more fat without increasing weight again. Remember, you have just spent a month or more establishing a healthy fat metabolism. This is no time to revert back to old habits and mess it up.
If you insist on eating carbs with a lot of fat, then watching your weight daily is the only way for you to easily detect what change this may be causing.
The Proverbial Steak Day
The steak day strategy entails skipping breakfast and lunch, then for dinner eating only a steak and one apple. The necessity for a steak day is any day that your weight reaches 2 or more pounds above the previous day.
The key is to have a steak day that very same day. Putting it off will undermine your recovery. However, a steak day can and often does put you right back on track by the following day.
The reason that I emphasize this is that a steak day is most effective only when it is implemented on that first day of too much weight increase.
A Modern Scientific Viewpoint
Dr. Simeons created his diet based on 1950s knowledge about human physiology. The discovery of the master fat hormone, leptin, in 1994 substantiates his thinking. Leptin and HCG both work by sending signals through brain receptors in the hypothalamus. Lab research with experimental animals is just now starting to show how these two hormones interact to regulate fat metabolism.
The carb connection in this scenario involves insulin, which also has a close interaction with leptin. If either one of these hormones gets out of balance, the other one will, too. Consuming excess carbs will make you fat more quickly than will any other kind of food. These hormones work together to make it so. This is why eating carbs during the three week post HCG phase ruins your newly acquired fat metabolism.
Long-Term Weight Management
The HCG protocol itself, including Phase 3, is only a small blip of time compared with long-term weight management. If you want to stay on target for the rest of your life, you must arm yourself with good information, then do the right thing based on it.
I have noticed that way too many people get off track after a protocol series or two (or more), then return to doing yet another HCG protocol. This is not a recipe for long-term success. The idea should be that, once you reach your target weight you stay there for good.
Sorting through the vast amount information on weight management can be overwhelming, I know. It is a favorite past-time of mine, and it takes a lot of time. As you probably know, you can find lots of contradictory advice, even among medical doctors fitness trainers, nutritionists, and others who should know better. That is why I focus on what the scientific research says on this topic, and that is what I write about on another blog: BellyFatScience.com.
Wading through scientific publications, and sorting out the good from the bad (yes, bad science does get published), is just something that I enjoy doing and that I am good at. I have always maintained that my fellow scientists do not do enough to communicate to the public what we do. BellyFatScience.com is my small effort to rectify that. Go ahead and take a look at some of the posts there to see what might be useful for you.
How About Diet Pills?
Hope for a magic bullet for weight loss and long-term weight management reigns supreme in our culture. A huge industry is built around it, including FDA-approved weight loss drugs, herbs and other supplements, and countless celebrity-endorsed weight loss programs. Even I am overwhelmed by it all.
Fortunately, I can shrink the information overload considerably by just digging into the medical research literature, then simply ignoring the marketing hype that has no substance behind it. In fact, most diet pills have no research support whatsoever. Some are simply too dangerous to human health.
Since I get asked so many questions on this HCG blog about diet pills, and since so much contradictory and bad information is out there, I decided to launch a new blog to focus on just that topic: TheDietPillsReview.com.
At the moment I have just a few posts there, on such topics as phentermine, Xenical, Alli, green tea, acai berry, and even the Kirstie Alley weight loss supplements (couldn’t resist). I have a long list of diet pills to review. So little time and so much to do! If you are considering taking any kind of diet pills, this would be a good blog to take a look at.
I’ll even provide a little incentive for you to pay me a visit at TheDietPillsReview.com: If you want to know more about the science behind a diet pill, or whether there is any research on it at all, just leave me a comment on one of the posts there and I will see what I can find out for you.
Updates for after HCG diet,